Monday previews are the best kind, especially when I lazily post M to the G's scouting report.
Yup, the Sounders face off in the long-awaited 'Defend the Cup' semi-final fixture against a familiar foe. Brek Shea and his Merry Band of Pranksters are set to travel to Starfire Sports Complex for yet another licking, fresh from our 1-0 win in Dallas only two weeks ago. The game kicks off at 7PM, but the match will be streamed free on the team website for the sold-out event.
It really does feel like we've faced them more times than we have, but I wouldn't be surprised if we have to see them again in the Playoffs or Champions League. Fingers crossed.
One thing to note, George John will be available. He sat out the Seattle contest two weeks ago for a one-game suspension, which may or may not have made our task easier. However, the former UW boy was also caught up in a transfer attempt which petered out after Blackburn Rovers decided at the last minute to change their mind. So, more or less, he's back. And with a vengeance to prove his suitors remorse.
Whether or not he features is an unknown, but Dallas will have a bunch of other eager youngsters looking to make up for their home loss. Rookie Bobby Warshaw killed SKC in brutal fashion in the final minute of this weekend's match in SKC. And of course, there's the former-DP Fabian Castillo, who is arguably Dallas' best young talent. Yes, ahead of Brek Shea. Scary, right? He's sat out a couple recent matches, and subbed on in Dallas' historic CCL win, but he also featured in Colombia's side in the U-20 World Cup. So, whichever team Sigi decides to field, they will surely face a number of offensive threats.
So, how are our chances? Well, considering Sigi is now digging deep into the depth of the team with a strict rotation system, we may see a very different team from the one that blew out Columbus. Alvaro played hard minutes in Monterrey and subsequently subbed in late against Columbus, so he might get a look in the place of Mauro or Neagle. However, both Fucito and Jaqua are vying for the title of Mr. Open Cup. With Jaqua playing like absolute rubbish, I wouldn't put it past Sigi to start him tomorrow. Also, get ready for some pirate action with Levesque, who was also rested Saturday.
An aside, Lamar Neagle took home the MLS Player of the Week award. He joins Jeff Parke as the only Sounders for this season. Well done kid, you deserved it.
If you are still reading this far, here's some other stuff for your eyeballs. Joshua Mayers interviews Sammy Ochoa, MajorLeagueSoccerSoccer has a preview, and a Seattle blogger talks to a Dallas blogger.
Random note: I love that .gif of Alex Morgan. If Servando scores tomorrow, I will reuse it.